Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Parent Alienation Syndrome

In the 1980s, a forensic psychiatrist coined the term parental alienation syndrome (PAS) to describe the efforts of one parent to turn his or her children against the other. The syndrome involves deliberate mental and emotional abuse that can occur among highly conflictual couples who fight over custody.

The result is a child who harbors tremendous negativity towards a parent that is not based on actual experience with that parent.

It is a phenomena familiar to divorce attorneys who listen to endless cycles of accusations and counter accusations between spouses in child-custody disputes. PAS pits one parent against the other, the good and evil parent. When it works, the children also turn against the maligned parent.

The motivation behind PAS is usually rooted in poor coping from the failed marriage. Instead of a spouse engaging in healthy grieving for the loss of the marriage, the spouse goes after the spouse and engages the children in the battle. The spouse feels so damaged from the breakup, that enlisting the children in the anger and blame of the other serves as a way to further the blame. Or the spouse who vilifies feels so rejected and alone, turns to the children for nurturing and a source of support, even companionship. What emerges is a “we against the world” position. Instead of owning his or her part of the divorcing conflict, the spouse blames the other in a self-righteous way to protect the children.

Whatever the dynamics in play, the end result is poor conflict management and  children suffering the effects of parents who can’t cooperate on their behalf. Children are left with fears, confusion, sadness, and despair because parents can’t work through their disputes. The way conflict is handle destroys relationships and devastates children. Parents manipulate and use their children to get revenge.

Custodial parents are charged by the law to avoid any disruptions with the child’s other parent, yet, time and time, we see this syndrome acted out. This needs to stop for the sake of the children.

 

Previous Posts

10 Ways to Resist Sex Outside of Marriage
Sean Lowe, made famous by the reality television shows The Bachelorette and The Bachelor, was known as the Virgin Bachelor. But Lowe makes no apologies for his desire to wait until marriage to have sex with the woman he wanted to marry. Recently, he spoke at Liberty University's convocation 

posted 6:00:59am Mar. 03, 2015 | read full post »

A Therapeutic Way to Deal With Heartache or Tragedy
He sat in my office and told me his father died suddenly of a heart attack. There was no warning and he and his mom were heartbroken.  She was crying as she talked about her 20 year marriage coming to an end. Her husband words, "I don't love you and want out," hit hard.  He never saw it comi

posted 6:00:05am Feb. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Take the Quiz: Do You Love Money Too Much?
Money, money, money...The OJays sang about it, reminding us us what people will do for the love of money-steal from their mother, rob from their brother, lie, cheat and don't care who they hurt or beat, etc. In Matthew, Jesus tells us that you can't love money and God. He chided the religious le

posted 6:00:17am Feb. 25, 2015 | read full post »

A School Success Measure More Important Than Intelligence
These days, parents seemed consumed with their children getting high test scores. The belief is that high test scores predicts academic success. But a new study suggests that parents should put their efforts elsewhere--in developing the personalities of their children. With more concern about wh

posted 6:00:29am Feb. 23, 2015 | read full post »

One Way to Facilitate the Feeling of Love
Rosie is a little anxious about her first date with Sean. We all know how important first impressions are when it comes to finding love. After a few outings at a local coffee shop, her feelings of attraction were obvious. The setting was intimate, soft  music played in the background and th

posted 6:00:15am Feb. 20, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.